Treating a Dog's Broken Toe - Yahoo Voices -

Treating a Dog's Broken Toe - Yahoo Voices -
Dogs can experience a variety of injuries in their feet and most are not readily recognized by the dog owner. In many cases of a foot injury, a dog will simple lie around and not show interest in eating as pain is a complicating factor. Beyond this, and especially when the dog experiences a broken toe, there are typically no other signs.
Dog broken toes are one of the most common injuries and typically require veterinarian attention to ensure your dog does not experience long term complications with mobility. If your dog has recently experience a blunt trauma injury to the foot, fell while running, or if your dog may have suffered an injury after living with long toenails, these are all possible scenarios that could lead to a dog's broken toe.

When visiting with a veterinarian, and typically in the same way a human's foot would be managed when a toe is broken, your veterinarian will recommend x-rays as a way to determine the extent of the bone break. When necessary, an internal fixation surgery may be warranted to pin the bone back into place. In most dogs, however, internal fixation is not necessary but your dog may require casting to prevent further movement of the paw and toe while the bone heals.

In the case of a dog's broken toe, the toe will normally heal within six to eight weeks without need for further treatment. During this time, however, your dog may require medications to control pain and medications to treat the complications that arise in response to surgery, including potential risks for infection.

Because your dog will have limited mobility after the broken toe incident, it will be important to find other ways to give your dog exercise in the home. Be sure to play with your dog regularly and encourage your dog to engage in fun activities without moving the foot too much. In the long term, this urgent treatment of a recent broken toe will ensure your dog's mobility and function in the foot are maintained, especially if the toe is one that helps with balance and gait.

Sources: Safe Dog Handbook, by Melanie Monteiro, pp 137-139.

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